March 6, 2014 at 7:26 am
Read my first and second posts about Punta Cana if you missed them.
Although the resort is a lovely place to spend time, you could also book a short trip off the grounds to go zip lining, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, and other fun, tropical, things. There were travel agency reps in the business center who would book an excursion for you. When reading the brochures I saw an ad for a trip to the Chocolate Museum and you know they had me at the word “Chocolate.” Ultimately the trip ended up being a reminder as to why you should check Trip Advisor before booking excursions.
After missing my ride because of confusion as where to meet, I was able to rebook a ride on another shuttle which took me to a courtyard with several different buildings all guarded by a man at the gate with a shotgun.
I would guess the armed guard was there to protect the cigar factory, not the chocolate store or the gift shop, or perhaps all that was a [...]
March 3, 2014 at 7:38 am
Check out my first day in Punta Cana here if you missed it.
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana is a nicer joint than I typically patronize. I knew it when I saw the telephone in the bathroom, and I knew it for sure when it took me several minutes to figure out the high-tech light switches. They’re really into the rock-n-roll theme too. Sometimes it’s almost cute, like when the do-not-disturb sign has lyrics from the Elvis Presley song of the same name on it. Other times it seems ill-advised, like how the mirrors over the double beds had this lyric engraved on them: It’s just another day in paradise / As you stumble to your bed (…so far so good…) You’d give anything to silence / Those voices ringing in your head Um, what? Do they think their visitors are schizophrenic? The only voices that were ringing in my head during this trip were from the Kaspersky conference’s karaoke event which was held outside our balcony. (I really, really [...]
February 24, 2014 at 7:08 am
These days I’m too paranoid to post vacation photos while I’m actually on vacation for fear that someone will break into my house while I’m gone. Why? Because the last time I posted about being on vacation while I was on vacation someone left a comment saying it wasn’t wise to do that because someone might break into my house while I was gone. CREEPY.
So it’s only now that I am letting you know I recently traveled to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for a three-night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. While I was there I didn’t post photos on Facebook or tweet about it or anything, which was sort of hard because when you’re in the Caribbean it’s very tempting to brag about the fact that you’re in the Caribbean. Vacation: A great way to make other people feel bad about their lives!
The first step in getting there was having a brother who was one of the top salesman in his company, thus winning a free trip along with several of [...]
February 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm
I didn’t have any expectations for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee when I arrived there last September. One of the things I like about taking trips with my mom is that she plans everything and I just have to show up. So when I drove down the main drag headed for out hotel I was surprised to see, well, every damn thing I saw.
There was the Titanic.
Complete with iceberg.
The upside-down mansion.
King Kong, of course.
And let’s not forget the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride…
…a shark door…
…and Hillbilly Village.
Strangely, I did not see any pigeons or forges, though there were way too many miniature golf courses and go-kart tracks to picture here individually. Basically, Pigeon Forge is a whole lot of WTF. Or as one of my Facebook friends said, Pigeon Forge is like Las Vegas vomited on Tennessee.
We’d ended up in Pigeon Forge because my mom and I had determined that Dollywood was halfway between Indianapolis (where she lives) and Chapel Hill (where I live) which made it drivable for both of us. The carnival [...]
October 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm
You can’t visit the national parks right now because the federal (non-)government is shutdown, but you can read this blog entry about my recent visit to the Smoky Mountains National Park. There is no “e” in “Smoky,” by the way. I checked. If you really want to use an “e” you can call the mountains “The Smokies.”
I ended up in the Smokies because my mom and I wanted to get together but didn’t want to fly anywhere. So we looked at the map and it turns out that halfway between Indianapolis and Chapel Hill sits…Dollywood! But there also appeared to be some mountains in the area, so we thought we’d check those out after we’d spent the previous day running around Dolly Parton’s theme park. (I’ll post about that eventually, I promise.)
We started out by stopping at the Sugarlands visitor’s center where we picked up some helpful brochures and watched a 20-minute movie about the Smoky Mountains. Nowhere did it explain why the area was called the Sugarlands, which I was particularly curious about. I [...]